(1) The division shall establish a firefighter training program of not less than 360 hours, administered by such agencies and institutions as it approves for the purpose of providing basic employment training for firefighters. Nothing herein shall require a public employer to pay the cost of such training.
(2) The division shall issue a certificate of compliance to any person satisfactorily complying with the training program established in subsection (1), who has successfully passed an examination as prescribed by the division, and who possesses the qualifications for employment in s. 633.34, except s. 633.34(5). No person may be employed as a regular or permanent firefighter by an employing agency, or by a private entity under contract with the state or any political subdivision of the state, including authorities and special districts, for a period of time in excess of 1 year from the date of initial employment until he or she has obtained such certificate of compliance. A person who does not hold a certificate of compliance and is employed under this section may not directly engage in hazardous operations, such as interior structural firefighting and hazardous-materials-incident mitigation, requiring the knowledge and skills taught in a training program established in subsection (1). However, a person who has served as a volunteer firefighter with the state or any political subdivision of the state, including authorities and special districts, who is then employed as a regular or permanent firefighter may function, during this period, in the same capacity in which he or she acted as a volunteer firefighter, provided that he or she has completed all training required by the volunteer organization.
(3) The division may issue a certificate to any person who has received basic employment training for firefighters in another state when the division has determined that such training was at least equivalent to that required by the division for approved firefighter education and training programs in this state and when such person has satisfactorily complied with all other requirements of this section. The division may also issue a special certificate to a person who is otherwise qualified under this section and who is employed as the administrative and command head of a fire/rescue/emergency services organization, based on the acknowledgment that such person is less likely to need physical dexterity and more likely to need advanced knowledge of firefighting and supervisory skills. The certificate is valid only while the person is serving in a position as an administrative and command head of a fire/rescue/emergency services organization.
(4) A person who fails an examination given under this section may retake the examination once within 6 months after the original examination date. An applicant who does not retake the examination within such time must take the Minimum Standards Course, pursuant to subsection (1), before being reexamined. The division may establish reasonable preregistration deadlines for such reexaminations.
(5) Pursuant to s. 590.02(1)(e), the division shall establish a structural fire training program of not less than 40 hours. The division shall issue to any person satisfactorily complying with this training program and who has successfully passed an examination as prescribed by the division and who has met the requirements of s. 590.02(1)(e) a Certificate of Forestry Firefighter.
(6) A certified forestry firefighter is entitled to the same rights, privileges, and benefits provided for by law as a certified firefighter.